Experimental Determination of Fundamental Thermophysical Properties and Fuel-Specification Testing of Bio-Derived Blendstocks and Blended Fuels

Capability Title Experimental determination of fundamental thermophysical properties and fuel-specification testing of bio-derived blendstocks and blended fuels
Laboratories Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), Idaho National Laboratory (INL), National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Sandia National Laboratories (SNL)
Capability experts Tim Bays (PNNL), Gina Fioroni (NREL), Scott Goldsborough (ANL), Mike Kass (ORNL), M.M. Ramirez-Corredores (INL), Magnus Sjoberg (SNL), Jim Szybist (ORNL)

A wide range of instruments and tools are available to measure the physical properties, chemical composition and speciation, and kinetic behavior of fuels. The fuel properties of both pure components and blended fuels are archived in the Fuel Property Database (https://fuelsdb.nrel.gov/fmi/webd/fuelsEngineCoOptimization), which is an open, publicly-accessible platform.

Unique Physical Properties and Composition Capabilities

  • Heat of vaporization (HoV) measurements of a gasoline boiling-range fuel using a Differential Scanning Calorimeter/Thermogravimetric Analyzer (DSC/TGA) as a function of the distillation temperature.
  • Speciation of fuel components during evaporation by coupling a mass spectrometer to the DSC/TGA
  • Fuel solidification measurements at high pressure (up to 380 MPa) using as little as 50 ml, which is a potential barrier for the high-pressure fuel injection systems for emerging diesel engines.
  • Fuel compatibility with elastomers and metals in both liquid and gaseous phase exposure, coupled with a wide range of analytical and model-based analysis.
  • Fuel chemical analysis through nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, allowing quantitative bond type and functional group analysis.
  • Studies of fuel storage and oxidation stability in standard and experimental devices

Unique Autoignition and Kinetics Capabilities

  • A rapid compression machine capable of achieving engine-relevant thermodynamic and fuel loading conditions (T = 600–1100 K, P = 10–80+ bar, F = 0.2–2.0+, 5–21% O2) while isolating chemical (autoignition) behavior from complex combustion chamber physics (spray, mixing, turbulence). Data includes autoignition times (1–150 ms), and heat release (rates and accumulated values).
  • Flow reactor (500-1250K, up to 10 bar) coupled with a range of analytical chemistry tools to identify intermediate species formed during the autoignition and soot formation processes.
  • Measurements of spray-driven autoignition in constant volume vessels intended to measure the derived cetane number (DCN) using small volumes of fuel.
  • Engine experiments operated to allow fuels to express low-temperature heat release (LTHR) for kinetic validation
Limitations Please contact capability experts on limitations for specific capabilities.
Unique aspects Previous industrial experience in (bio-blendstocks) fuels registration, according to 40 CFR Part 79 and the associated processing according to RFS II.
Availability Please contact capability experts for information on availability.